Reg Schellenberg was a well-known face and voice, who was well-respected in the beef industry.
The rancher from Beechy (Saskatchewan) was first elected to the Canadian Cattle Association in 2010 and became President of the organization earlier this year.
He served as co-chair of the Foreign Trade Committee, represented the CCA on the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency and co-chaired the Animal Health and Care Committee with Pat Hayes.
When commenting on his friend's passing, Hayes noted that Reg had a well-rounded view of the whole industry.
"The big thing to him is our native ranges and keeping that ecosystem in place. Reg was a cow-calf operation, but he represented the whole industry. He understood the whole industry and you couldn't have one segment without the other."
Hayes says Reg was involved in cowboy politics for some time.
"He firmly believed who showed up made the rules, and if you want to lose by default, just don't show up. He was part of a generational ranch that wanted to pass it on to the next generation. Seeing how our industry is being hammered on all sides, whether it be CO2, or water, or you name it. He wanted to make sure that his son and his son's children could carry on doing what Shannon's dad did, and his grandfather before that, and her grandfather before that."
Schellenberg is survived by his wife Shannon, two sons, a daughter and nine grandchildren. His son Coy and daughter-in-law Lauralie represent the fourth generation in the family ranching partnership.
Taking up the roles of the CCA now is Nathan Phinney of New Brunswick.
Phinney says Reg’s legacy and impact on the Canadian cattle industry will be felt for years to come.
"His gentle demeanour and strong character are qualities that many of us in the industry looked up to, He will be fondly remembered for being a tireless advocate for cattle producers, taking a particular interest in advancing the priorities related to animal health and care, as well as protecting and preserving our industry for the next generation."
The Alberta Beef Producers Board of Directors, delegates and staff also expressed their condolences on the sudden passing of Reg Schellenberg.
Chair Melanie Wowk says their paths first crossed through cattle industry politics, but soon developed into a friendship with Reg and his wife Shannon.